Monday, February 6, 2012

Stresses of life

Oh my poor neglected blog. Trust me, its not that I am not scrapping. On the contrary, I'm scrapping my little heart out, whenever I get a chance to that is.

Work. I "work" 4 part-time jobs.
  • I scrap. I rarely get paid to scrap in real money. But because I am a member of the Digichick Creative Team I get paid in free supplies. Which, let's face it, I would be spending good money for anyway so I look at is as if it were barter.
  • I teach scrapbooking once or twice a month. I charge a mere pittance for my classes compared to formal scrapbooking classrooms around Tokyo, but its enough to keep me and my students in fresh scrapbooking supplies most of the time. 
  • I teach English conversation to kids and adults (not full-time by any means, but it helps bring home the bacon. I mean sushi.) 
  • I also do a very little bit of translation/proof-reading/English editing. Recently this little venture has been keeping me busy. Its not easy and I am completely unqualified for the translation part anyway. But at the same time its fun. And I can buy a little more sushi.
Add this all into being a full-time mommy to a lovely, young, fresh and sassy 13-year-old daughter and a can't-seem-to-stay-out-of-trouble 10-year-old son. School meetings, working out at the gym when I can, meeting friends for lunch, hosting the occasional craft bazaar, etc. I wonder how I manage some days. I suppose this is how many of you spend your days as well.

Its not easy doing all of this for anyone I imagine. And sometimes when I feel like throwing  myself a little pity party I console myself that I am doing all of this in a country and culture that is as foreign to me as I am to it. Sometimes I don't do such a good job. But I have to keep on trying.

Everyone says enjoy them while they're little. I'm sorry I didn't enjoy you more. Looking back I know how much I missed out on and I am sad that I wasn't a better mommy to you when you were both so small. But truth be told, it was just too much for me most days. I was fighting so many internal battles of my own that enjoying my two small babes was overwhelming. I felt so alone, almost like a single parent living in a country that I didn't understand, that was constantly watching me and you. I look back at pictures of you when you were little and I just want to cry. I want to jump into the photo and hold you so tight, tell you how much I love you. And make sure you know that even though I am crazy most days that I love you. I love you. I love you.

Things are better now - now that you are older and don't need me for every little thing. I have found some peace and balance. I still lose my perspective some days and fall into the old pattern of feeling like I have to be the perfect mother, that you two have to be the perfect children. But deep in my heart I know that we are okay. We are going to be okay, I hope and pray. I didn't love and respect you enough when you were so little. I'm sorry for that. But please know that I am still learning. I so deeply want to be a good mom to you. I am trying. I feel like I am getting better now.

most papers and elements from Midsummer Night by ViVa Artistry
butterfly is from Into Indigo Scrapbook Pack by Quirky Twerp
background stamp is from Cluster Caper by Karen Lewis
photo mask is by Vera Lim
font used for title is The King Queen

I made this page back in December, for the January edition of the Artisan Notebook. Around the same time as this was coming out, Glennon at Momastery wrote the most beautiful blogpost I have ever read. Don't Carpe Diem. I felt like she had read my mind. I've been a lurker on her blog for about a year now. If you only read one post of hers, make it this one. She is amazing. If you have several hours and are ready to be touched and inspired, please read as much of her blog as you can. God is using her to show his love to this world.

In other scrapbooking news, The Digichick had a three-day Event weekend. Wow, talk about great CTing on my part. Now that the event is over here I am telling you about it. I hope no one there reads this and I end up losing my barter. That would really upset me. The other Challenge Chicks and I spent a lot of time making up some incredible challenges, not only for the weekend but for the entire month. Please come join us!

With some input from another CT member, I came up with the Scavenger Hunt Scraplift challenge. Have a look! For my page I used the incredible new Boutique collaboration called A Love Story. One word, Beauuutiful!My precious babes even obliged me with a series of fun new photos.

Oh the way you taunt each other. Criticizing and bickering, typical sibling rivalry I suspect. Sometimes I just want to scream, sometimes I actually do. I don't understand why you can't have a kind word for one another. And then, there comes a time when you are getting along, playing happily, really communicating with each other. These are the times when I feel it. Love. Regardless of the way you interact some days, deep inside your hearts you actually do love each other. 
Credits:  all papers and elements from A Love Story by The Digichick Designers
page template is the January FB Freebie by Little Green Frog Designs
Pounce photo action by My 4 Hens Photography
font used for journaling is DJB Another Mandy

Credits: papers and most elements from A Love Story by The Digichick Designers
some elements from Emporium and Shutterbug both by The Digichick Designers
white flower from Always and Forever by Mari Koegelenberg
heart charm from my heART by Etc by Danyale
Plume stamps by Anna Aspnes
Page template from Solos Part 6 by Busy Bee Designs
font used for date is DJB So Much to Say
for The Color Room challenge #95 

I have more to say and much more to show, but if I must write it all tonight I'm sure it won't get gone. I'm just finishing up some paper scrapping projects that I'm looking forward to sharing also.

But for now, I will sign off and say thank you. Thank you for keeping me on your blogroll even when posts are few and far between at times. Thank you for reading my wonderings and wanderings. And thank you for your lovely and kind comments.


akizo said...

ohhhh I really love first one!
simply cool!!

Lys said...

it is nice to learn a bit about you and your life and work in Japan ... I understand you and how much it must be sometimes hard to be far away from your family and above all feeling so different ...
My cousin lived many years in Japan and he told us about this.
I love your first page, the whole composition and what a great idea the photos in the pocket !! being a mother is not easy, and there is no way to be a perfect one, but I am sure you did it with your heart and that is the most important, don't you think ? and your children know you love them ... your pages are a proof and the journaling is so heartful and touching !
Have a great night or day ? ;)